Who do the UK ad rules apply to?
The UK advertising rules (known as the ‘CAP Code’ and ‘BCAP Code’), apply to businesses based in the UK and everyone who markets or advertises their business in ‘UK media’, from a sole trader right through to a global conglomerate.
These rules help ensure consumers are treated fairly, and that businesses benefit from a level playing field.
What you need to know...
Your ads must not mislead your customers by leaving out important information that might affect their decision to buy from you, use your services, or seek further information.
You must have evidence to back up any claims you make. If you can’t prove it, you probably shouldn’t say it.
The price is right
Advertised prices must relate to the specific product shown, and need to include all other costs, taxes, and charges that aren’t optional. Additional costs, such as delivery, also need to be made clear.
If using a testimonial or endorsement, you must have evidence that it is genuine, and hold contact details for the person or organisation who gave it, along with their permission for it to be used in marketing materials.
Is it really free?
You must not describe a product as “free”, “without charge” or similar if the customer has to pay you anything for that product other than an (uninflated) postage cost.
When will it end?
If you are running a promotion or offer, you must include the end date for the offer, and all the other significant conditions up front.